Ayushmann Khurrana on Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan: I'm okay playing a smaller character

Updated: Feb 21, 2020, 09:37 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Acknowledging that co-star Jitendra Kumar has a 'more interesting arc' in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, Ayushmann says he was drawn to his part as it had agency.

Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar play lovers in the same-sex relationship drama Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar play lovers in the same-sex relationship drama Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

For anyone who assumed that he spent weeks deliberating whether he should greenlight Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, Ayushmann Khurrana bursts the bubble. "It was an easy decision to make because the script was funny and commercial," he reasons. However, the actor accedes that he bided his time before zeroing in on the character he would play in the same-sex love story. "Hitesh [Kewalya, director] had asked me to choose the role I want to play. Jitu's [Jitendra Kumar] character is in the closet, and hence, has a more interesting arc. But I didn't want to play the victim this time, I wanted to be the instigator. My character is confident about his sexuality. He is rare [in that regard] because he doesn't give a damn about [what society thinks of] his sexual orientation. I am okay playing a relatively smaller character."

As the building block for his part, the actor referred to Lie With Me by Philippe Besson, an acclaimed book about queer love. "I wanted to know what a gay man goes through daily. I met this guy called Sharif in Delhi, who explained to me that a heterosexual man can go anywhere and find someone to date. But how do you spot a gay man? It's difficult for them to find love."

Ayushmann Khurrana
Ayushmann Khurrana

Khurrana hopes the film will be an "induction for an average Indian homophobe." "With the film, we had to adopt an over-the-top approach to reach out to people. I wish people would say, 'Chalo apne ladke ke liye ladka dekhne chalte hai'. Realistically, that won't happen. But, as long as parents understand that their child has the right to live his truth, that's a big win. With this film, we have focused on how a family warms up to the idea of their son being gay."

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